Hewlett-Packard on Friday announced that is is contributing its webOS platform to the open source software community. The company confirmed that it would not build any new webOS hardware for the time being, though it said it would continue to actively develop and support the operating system. “WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said HP CEO Meg Whitman in a statement. “By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.” HP announced in August that it was discontinuing its webOS hardware efforts and now, more than three months later, the company has finally decided the fate of the platform. HP took ownership of webOS as part of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in July 2010. The company’s full press release follows below.
Samsung will open its bada mobile operating system to other manufacturers and developers next year in an effort to “reduce its reliance” on Android, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The South Korea-based company also hopes it can deploy bada on other devices, such as smart TVs. Samsung unveiled bada in late 2009 and has used the operating system on its Wave family of handsets. According to Gartner, bada currently has a 1.9% share of the mobile OS market. Samsung’s latest bada-powered handsets include the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y. “For Samsung to be successful with opening bada it will need to be launched in the United States market, because that is where the most powerful developers and consumers are found,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told The Wall Street Journal. “If bada does not get traction in the huge U.S. market, then the odds will be stacked against success.”
Google has accused Microsoft of leaking “highly confidential source code” related to its open-source Android operating system. According to PaidContent, the search giant asked a federal United States International Trade Commission judge to sanction Microsoft after it spilled the beans on Google’s source code to a witness in Microsoft’s ongoing patent battle with Motorola. Reportedly, the witness, Dr. Robert Stevenson, has acted as a consultant for both HP and Microsoft, which Google views as “direct competitors.” Microsoft is suing Motorola because it believes Motorola’s Android-powered smartphones infringe on its patents. Microsoft responded to Google and said that Stenvenson only had “two or three conversations with Microsoft’s outside general counsel regarding a case related to printer technology.” The odd part about the motion is Google’s Android operating system is open source, so it is unclear exactly what “highly confidential” source code Microsoft might have revealed. Microsoft’s official response to the sanction is due by August 15th, PaidContent said. More →
Android may be an open source operating system, but it’s not as open as other platforms according to a new research report from VisionMobile. The research firm compared Android, Eclipse, Firefox, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Qt and Symbian and found that, of those open source environments, Android was the least “open.” According to the report’s “open governance index,” which scored each environment on how open it is, Android scored a 23%. It was far below the others; Eclipse scored the best with an 84% open governance index and no other platform scored less than a 58%, ArsTechnica said. Google’s Android compatibility chief Dan Morrill likely swayed the opinion on Android a bit when he said Google was using compatibility “as a club to make [phone maker’s] do things we want,” and the report cites that quote specifically. However, VisionMobile also backs up its findings with a statement that can be read in full after the break. More →
Nokia recently said that its Symbian operating system is no longer open source. The Finnish firm is continuing to provide source code to Japanese OEMs and its small developer community in an alternative “open and direct” model. “Consistent with this, the Nokia Symbian License is an alternative license which provides an access to Nokia’s additional Symbian development for parties which collaborate with Nokia on the Symbian platform,” Nokia stated. The Symbian Foundation opened up the Symbian source code in February 2010, and in November of last year Nokia and the Symbian Foundation announced that Nokia would take full control of the OS in March 2011. More →
In mid-July, Mozilla announced that it was upping its “bug bounty” from $500 to $3,000 for every critical, reproducible security flaw reported. Today, MacWorld is reporting that, “Between 10 percent and 15 percent of the serious security bugs reported since Mozilla launched its bug bounty program have been provided free of charge.” Mozilla spokesperson Johnathan Nightingale said: “A lot of people would say, ‘Don’t worry about it. Donate it to the EFF or just send me a T-shirt.” Now that is the open source type spirt that just warms the cockles of your heart, isn’t it? More →
Yay open source! Samsung has released the source code for the SGH-I897, better known as the Captivate (the AT&T variant of the Galaxy S). In a letter to developers Samsung writes:
You can download the source code of SGH-I897 on this site in Mobile Category, SGH-I897 model.Thank you.
The source is about 160 megabytes in size and available to all who want it, no signups necessary. Hit up opensource.samsung.com to download the goods!
At the DROID X launch on Wednesday, Andy Rubin confirmed that Google is uploading the Android 2.2 source code to its Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository. With Froyo now in the hands of both the developer community and the OEMs, we can expect the latest Android OS to make its way onto handsets in the near future. While you wait for the manufacturers to get their official versions out in the upcoming weeks, keep your eyes open for those unofficial versions which will hit the Internet in the upcoming days. Anyone willing to guess which Android handset will be the first to get this delicious dessert ? More →
As a part of its I/O 2010 keynote, Google has announced a new, open-source video format known as WebM. Based primarily on VP8, the royalty-free format also borrows from Matroska as well and Ogg Vorbis audio. Said to be efficient in its consumption of power and resources, Google is claiming WebM will work wonderfully on phones, tablets, netbooks and other portable devices. As of May 19th, all videos uploaded to YouTube shop in 720p and up will be encoded in WebM. Chrome, Firefox and Opera are the major browsers that will fully support WebM with nightly builds. Apple and Microsoft have not committed to WebM. Major arware partners include ADM, ARM, Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Intel look to be the major holdout. Adobe announced it will update Flash with support for VP8.
Folks hoping for an Atom-powered Android smartphone have reason to rejoice, as Intel’s GM of software and services announced that not only has the chipmaking giant modified the open-source platform to play nice with its x86-based processors, but it already has customers interested in using the unique OS-chipset combination. While no further details were divulged, the same executive also mentioned the company is hard at work getting “enabling all OSes for Atom phones.” When Google first designed the Android platform it did so with ARM-based processors in mind, but now that people have a taste for high-powered processors like the 1GHz Snapdragon from Qualcomm, companies such as Intel are scrambling to get their processors compatible with a multitude of operating systems. Can you imagine a phone like the HTC EVO will full Adobe Flash compatibility running a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450? Yes, our hearts would melt, too.
It is official. The Symbian Foundation has released Symbian as an open source product today, four months ahead of its scheduled mid-2010 completion date. As with other open source projects, the move will allow developers to modify and contribute to the source code in hopes of improving the overall quality and hastening the development of the operating system. An open source Symbian can also be installed on any compatible device for free which should help to further expand Symbian’s reach and solidify Symbian’s position as the dominant mobile OS worldwide. Beating Android to the punch, Symbian will publish its platform roadmap and planned features up to 2011, an outline which the Symbian Foundation notes can be modified and expanded based upon developer contributions to the mobile OS. The full Symbian source code is available for download now at Symbian’s developer website. More →
Last month Samsung announced that it would be dropping Symbian from its handsets and replacing it with its own mobile platform, Bada. Initial details on this touchscreen-driven platform were sparse and Bada was quickly forgotten. Forgotten by most of us but not by Samsung, who has been slowly fleshing out the details of Bada on its website and at a press event. Once you plow through all of the marketing speak, you can glean some juicy details about this new open source platform. Similar to other modern mobile phone operating systems, Bada will feature a full touchscreen UI with multi-touch support, 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, GPS and support for WVGA displays. Bada will also incorporate a Bada-specific version of the Samung’s love-it-or-hate-it TouchWiz interface. Throw in some keywords like Flash control, web control and face detection while offering a $300,000 coffer for the Bada Developer Challenge and you’ve got everyone’s attention. The first Bada mobile phone will launch in the first half of 2010, presumably to coincide with the launch of Bada applications in the Samsung application store. Hopes are high for Bada with Samsung expecting to both launch several models of Bada-powered phones and expand the application store to 30 countries including France, Italy and the UK by the end of 2010. Thoughts?
It all started with a browser (well, actually it started as search but you know what we mean). After growing out of web pages and applications, Google created the Chrome browser and now the behemoth is leaping beyond that and getting into the computer OS game. Naturally, the search giant’s new cloud-friendly OS is going to be open source and will run on x86 and ARM chips. Google has decided to get its feet wet by targeting the netbook market first, then more capable computers later. The new operating system is intended to be lightweight so that it starts up quickly and you can get going without having to wait too long for items to load up and other processes to run. We’ll see if this new venture becomes a success, and if you’re wondering what will become of Android, Google has this to say:
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
With the meticulous nature of Google, we can expect this to be a top-notch operating system but sometimes data-driven features don’t always make for the best user experiences. Let us also not forget that the Chrome browser, though still in its infancy, fell short of many expectations. We’ve still got plenty of time before Chrome OS materializes so we doubt Redmond and Cupertino are shaking in their boots just yet. Anyone excited?